Sunday, September 20, 2009

Coterie Cellars

Coterie Cellars is a small, new winery based in an industrial estate in Willow Glen. Founder and winemaker Kyle Loudon got some experience as a cellar worker at Eno Wines and Harrington Wines in the East Bay. After taking some courses in viticulture and enology at Davis he and his wife Shala entered the business with the 2007 vintage. The winery concentrates on Pinot Noir and Rhone varieties sourced from vineyards in Russian River, San Lucia Highlands and Fiddletown.

2007 Roussanne, Saralee's Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Saralee's Vineyard is a 275 acre property planted with 6 red and 10 white varieties, as well as an array of table grapes. The grapes are sold to 45 different clients around the state.

Very pale colour. The nose is faint, slightly floral with biscuit notes. On the palate it's dry and crisp with flavours of gooseberry and grapefruit, and a creamy mouthfeel. Quickish citrus finish. Seems like it should have been blended with something; doesn't particularly impress on its own. 84 $26

2008 Viognier, Saralee's Vineyard, Russian River Valley
More colour than the 07 Roussanne - a pale greenish straw - and a much bigger nose; very inviting and floral with honeysuckle & lychee. Rich, creamy mouthfeel with quince, lemon curd and vanilla wafers. Some bitter, green tannins showing on the medium length finish, but these may diminish with time; this is fairly new in bottle. An interesting wine; would like to try it again in a few months. 89+ $28

2007 Rose of Syrah, Casatierra Vineyard, Fiddletown AVA
Casatierra is a Syrah specialist near the Shenandoah Valley. They grow 7 different clones of Syrah.

Pale pink with a light nose of red currant and fresh turned earth. Light bodied, with not much acidity. Tastes like it's lost it's freshness - was probably better on release. 84 $18

2007 Pinot Noir, Fairview Road Ranch, Santa Lucia Highlands
Big spicy nose; coriander and dried cherry. Seemed a little extracted; the tannins were quite evident up front. Good cherry and cranberry fruit, good acidity, hint of bitterness and raisin on the finish. Give it a couple of years. 90+ $35

2007 Pinot Noir, Saralee's Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Not as intense or spicy as the fairview; cherry and oak on the nose and on the palate. A hint of mint on the finish. Less going on entirely. 87 $38

2008 Syrah, Casatierra Vineyard, Fiddletown AVA
Blended (not co-fermented) with 4% Viognier. Inky purple in the glass with white pepper, tart redcurrant and cranberry dominating. Flavours of blueberry and pepper, plenty of tannin but acidity is on the low side. Newly bottled, needs time to come together, hard to rate at this early stage so I'll hedge my bets with 87-90 $28